- 1. Definition
- 2. Overview and development of online influencers
- 3. Advantages and disadvantages of social media influencers
- 4. Relevance to influencer marketing
- 5. Best practices
Table of contents
The term influence power refers to the level of influence wielded by a blogger or social platform user. Influence power does not relate directly to the number of followers since some new accounts have carryover from existing notoriety or other social media.
An influencers’ social media influence power depends on their quality of content, followers and their attractiveness in a variety of ways, including physically and similarity to followers and the brand represented. An individual’s influence power is a key determining factor in whether a brand partners with them.
Overview and development of online influencers
Online influencers grew out of our natural affinity for seeking the advice of friends and family before making a purchase. People naturally looked for similar situations online, looking for advice and information on accounts where they’d previously found helpful content.
Promoting products by using online influencers to create content and re-post branded content followed suit. While marketing categorizes it as subconscious marketing, in reality, consumers consciously look for this input by searching for expert and user reviews. Brands ferret out consumer opinions, attitudes and behaviors through focus groups and surveys. They turn that information back to consumers in the guise of ads, personas like Betty Crocker and branded content. The influencers help the branded content reach an extended audience.
At one time, brands or companies wanting to obtain a team of influencers needed to conduct copious research of their followers and of accounts posting on related content. They had to interview each potential influencer. Currently, the common method includes tapping the services of an influencer management agency or using an influencer marketing platform to both vet and assign influencers and to build and manage the campaigns.
Advantages and disadvantages of social media influencers
The main advantage of using online influencers is bang for the buck. Each dollar a marketing team spends on influencer marketing nets the brand an average return on investment of $7.65 in earned media value (EMV).
While influencers wield influence power on all platforms, the most popular is Instagram. In 2017, that service hosted 12.9 million branded influencer posts. Some platforms see far less use but provide a better choice for the brand. It can prove tough to find the right influencers on the platform that’s best suited for the brand or company.
On the upside, a great influencer will probably pop up eventually. No one attends college to become an influencer. They’re just people like the ones reading this and your friends and family.
Judging social influence takes serious study. Some firms that did, like Klout, closed their doors leaving a wide gap no one stepped up to fill yet. Since some accounts buy followers, judging purely by followers doesn’t work. Generally, an influencer follows only between one to five percent of the number of people following them, so accounts far outside that range should raise a red flag. Another mark of an influential account is helpful, relevant content. A marketing firm’s Twitter should provide marketing tips, for example.
Relevance to influencer marketing
Social influence simply refers to how much pull an influencer has. It’s the unit of measurement that a brand or influencer management agency looks at to determine the level of influence an individual or account likely yields. The power of influencer can be measured using metrics like the audience data and content quality. It also includes the like follower ratio.
Before the advent of the Internet, a hierarchy existed in opinion and fact distribution. The Web equalized this though. Now, any consumer can voice their opinions and report on product effects and performance. Consumers judge the credibility of influencers based on their attractiveness, expertise, similarity, and trustworthiness. Similarity refers to how relatable they seem to the consumer. This proves most true with millennials.
True social influence can’t be faked. An account can buy followers and likes, but not forever. Avoid social influencers who’re discovered doing this. That leads to another key best practice in using online influencers – authenticity. Choose influencers whose values match the brand’s value. They should also actually use the company’s or brand’s products. An easy way to determine this is to reach for engaged influencer - those have tweeted or mentioned about the brand or company on social media. Begin with these organic supporters to build a team that would naturally support the brand.
Brands can look for engaged influencers on Instagram using InfluencerDB premium software
Also, embrace transparency. To some extent, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires this. Incentivized influencers must admit their affiliation with the brand or company in each post.